September 2014, Volume 6 Issue 5

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the ReproNet-Africa Newsletter September issue.

This issue focuses on abortion in Africa and we highlight a variety of articles including a look at the recent advances towards access to safe abortion in Africa; the launch of a new textbook entitled ‘Reproductive Health Challenges in Africa’; a photo gallery of an anti-illegal abortion march; an interactive map of abortion laws worldwide; a reflection on the consequences of abortion restrictions; recent research evidence; a course on legal and policy barriers to abortion; funding and employment opportunities; and a list of useful websites. We hope you will find the articles informative and stimulating.

As always we would love to hear from you so kindly send us your feedback about this issue and/or suggestions for future issues. We encourage you to subscribe to any of ReproNet-Africa’s social media sites including FacebookGoogle plus,  LinkedIn and Twitter for fast and easy access to the latest SRH news and information.

Warmest regards



News from Members

Dr Eunice Brookman-Amissah

Towards Access to Safe Abortion: Ipas contributions to recent advances in Africa

by Ambassador Dr. Eunice Brookman-Amissah MB.ChB, FWACP. FRCOGSpecial Adviser to the Ipas President on African Affairs Background Deaths and disability from unsafe abortions have been a hidden epidemic in all societies for centuries. This came to the fore during the International Conference on Population and Development – ICPD - in 1994 when for the first time in international agreements … Read more.

Anti illegal abortion 8

Anti-Illegal Abortion March

Dr Magome Masike, the MEC for Health in the North West Province led a peaceful march against illegal abortion with strong advocacy for contraception use and safe abortion services which are both provided by public health facilities across the province. L-R Gladys Msane (WRHI mobile clinic team member), Dr Magome Masike (MEC for Health in … Read more.

RH in Africa Textbook final brochure-4pages 30th_Page_1

Debuting a New Textbook for Integrating Sexual and Reproductive Health into Development Frameworks in Africa

The lack of a standard textbook is currently one of the challenges facing the integration of sexual and reproductive health into development frameworks in Africa.  This also accounts for the current dearth of indigenous practitioners able to program effectively on … Read more.

Grace Azange Kawo is also a bookworm!

Innovating for Girls’ Education: International Day of the Girl Child - 2014

On 11 October 2014, AAA will celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child. Contrary to the usual stress linked to securing of a speaker, this time we have one of our homemade speaker, Grace Azange Kawo, an African Action on AIDS science scholar since 2007 … Read more.


SRH News

Clinical practice handbook for safe abortion

The Clinical practice handbook for safe abortion care is intended to facilitate the practical application of the clinical recommendations from the second edition of Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems (World Health Organization 2012). While legal, regulatory, policy and service-delivery contexts may vary from country to country, the recommendations and best practices described in both of these … Read more.


Understanding Unsafe Abortion

Bela Ganatra, Özge Tunçalp, Heidi Bart Johnston a, Brooke R Johnson Jr, Ahmet Metin Gülmezoglu & Marleen Temmerman The World Health Organization defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating a pregnancy performed by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment not in conformity with minimal medical standards, or both.  … Read more.

abortion laws 2014

Map of Abortion Laws Worldwide

The map categorizes the world’s countries by their abortion laws, which fall on a continuum from severe restrictiveness to relative liberality. For purposes of this map, “countries” include independent states and, where populations exceed one million, semi-autonomous regions, territories, and jurisdictions of special status … Read more.

capture image

What Drives Abortion: The Law Or Income?

by Michaeleen Doucleff About 50,000 women worldwide die because of unsafe abortions. Five million more are admitted to hospitals with complications after the procedure. Activists and researchers on both sides of the abortion debate agree that these "back-alley" operations are dangerous for women. It's figuring out the best way to stop them that has been contentious. Abortion Rates Vs. Laws … Read more.

What happens without legal abortion

A 33-year-old mother of two, sought emergency care at a rural hospital in El Salvador. She was suffering a miscarriage, slipping in and out of consciousness and hemorrhaging. Doctors treated her as if she had attempted an abortion and immediately called the police. She was shackled to her hospital bed and accused of murder … Read more.

Maternity operating room in Siaya County, Kenya (Photo: Moving Mountain Trust/Flickr)

Kenya: Nurse Sentenced to Hang for Botched Illegal Abortion

By Jessica Dollin Legal restrictions forced 400,000 women in the country to undergo dangerous procedures in 2012. The death of a woman who sought an abortion and the death sentence of the nurse who performed the procedure have... Read more.

Where is the man who ever got pregnant? Why is abortion only a woman's crime? (2012 protest)

Progressive new abortion law shows Mozambique’s commitment to women’s reproductive rights

By Mercedes Sayagues There are only a few countries in Africa where abortion is legal. In the next few weeks, Mozambique will become one of them, with President Armando Guebuza expected to sign a new bill into law. It is a major victory for women’s … Read more.

A nurse at Nebbi Hospital attends to a woman suffering from complications of a botched abortion. About 21% of maternal deaths are caused by unsafe abortions. Source: New Visions News

Uganda: Youth want government to legalize abortion

A nurse at Nebbi Hospital attends to a woman suffering from complications of a botched abortion. About 21% of maternal deaths are caused by unsafe abortions. Source: New Visions News By Jeff Andrew Lule YOUTH from different parts of the country have called on government to fast track the law to legalize abortion to scale down on deaths … Read more.

EASY AS 1, 2, 3: Street pole charlatans use any surface to advertise "pain free and safe" abortions. PHOTO: Kudzai Mazvarirwofa EASY AS 1, 2, 3: Street pole charlatans use any surface to advertise “pain free and safe” abortions. PHOTO: Kudzai Mazvarirwofa Source: Wits Vuvuzela

South Africa: Illegal abortions risk lives

by Kudzai Mazvarirwofa “HOW FAR are you?” he asked. “Six months.” “Then it’s fine. I’ll take care of you.” “Is it painful?” After a six-week investigation, Wits Vuvuzela had this telephone exchange with a man who offers illegal abortions, even when pregnancies have advanced beyond the legal cut-off. He refused to give his name and place … Read more.


Research Evidence

Comprehensive Abortion Care for Young Women: Preliminary results from an Ipas Zambia pilot project with fully integrated youth participation

From 2012 to 2014, Ipas Zambia implemented the Comprehensive Abortion Care for Young Women pilot project in Lusaka Province to improve young women’s access to, use of and involvement in youth-appropriate, high-quality abortion care. This brief focuses on the first two objectives of the pilot project, which sought to address young women’s rights and needs related to abortion … Read more.

health policy and planning

Costs and consequences of abortions to women and their households: a cross-sectional study in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Health Policy Plan. (2014) Patrick G. C. Ilboudo, Greco, Johanne Sundby and Gaute Torsvik Abstract Little is known about the costs and consequences of abortions to women and their households. Our aim was to study both costs and consequences of induced and spontaneous abortions and complications. We carried out a cross-sectional study between February and September 2012 in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina … Read more.

Differences in Unintended Pregnancy, Contraceptive Use and Abortion by HIV Status Among Women In Nigeria and Zambia

Sub-Saharan Africa is burdened by high rates of unintended pregnancy and HIV. Yet little is known about the relationship between these two health risks in the region … Read more.

Female autonomy and reported abortion-seeking in Ghana, West Africa

Objective To investigate factors associated with self-reported pregnancy termination in Ghana and thereby appreciate the correlates of abortion-seeking in order to understand safe abortion care provision. Methods In a retrospective study, data from the … Read more.


Mobile phone messages to provide support to women during the home phase of medical abortion in South Africa: a randomised controlled trial

ContraceptionVolume 90, Issue 3, September 2014, Pages 226–233 Deborah Constant, Katherine de Tolly, Jane Harries and Landon Myer … Read more.

Role-players in abortion decision-making in the Accra Metropolis, Ghana

Making the final decision to terminate a pregnancy can be influenced by different circumstances involving various individuals. This paper describes the key players involved in the decision-making process regarding abortions among women who elected to undergo an induced abortion in a cosmopolitan urban setting in Ghana … Read more.


Partner approval and intention to use contraception among Zanzibari women presenting for post-abortion care

Objective We examined the effect of partner approval of contraception on intention to use contraception among women obtaining post-abortion care in Zanzibar. Study design Our data source was a 2010 survey of 193 women obtaining post-abortion care at a large … Read more.


Training Courses

Legal and Policy Barriers to Abortion

This course is designed for advocates, lawyers, policy makers, and health professionals who contribute to laws and policies on abortion, including Standards and Guidelines.  The content provides a basic overview and includes resources for further study. Author: IpasUniversity Language: English Year: 2013 Course Course Run Time: 1-2 hours … Read more.

Designing, Developing and Managing Donor Funded Projects

Venue: Premier Hotel O. R. Tambo, Kempton Park, Johannesburg Statutory and other implication of donor funding are important since donor funding has accounting and taxation implications for both the donor and the recipient. The workshop … Read more.

Call for applications: Research Methods Course in Sexual & Reproductive Health, HIV & Gender-Based Violence

Course dates: 17- 28 November, 2014 Closing date for applications: 30 September, 2014 Venue: Johannesburg, South Africa Are you a clinician, researcher or other professional in the field of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) or HIV, looking to improve your research skills? Are you currently conducting or planning to conduct SRH or HIV research in the … Read more.

Clinical HIV Management Course

Course dates: 10—21 November 2014 Venue: Johannesburg, South Africa   AIM The aim of this course is to provide doctors with regional HIV treatment knowledge and expertise, by developing clinicians’ abilities to effectively manage HIV complications and provide leadership in HIV prevention, treatment and care. The course is full time ... Read more.


Global Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)

Sessions February 23 2015 - 5 April 2015   Eligible for Statement of Accomplishment   Course at a Glance 5 weeks of study 5-7 hours of work / week English English subtitles … Read more.


Funding Opportunities


Grants available in 2014

New grants round opens 01 October 2014 The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH) are delighted to announce the opening of a new round of travel and training scholarships and small grants on 01 October 2014. Their aim is to support clinicians and scientists in all disciplines of tropical medicine and global health, including the relationship between human health and … Read more.

aids journal

CIPHER Grant Programme Encouraging Paediatric HIV Research

The International AIDS Society (IAS) has established a research grant programme for early-stage investigators to fill critical knowledge gaps that impede paediatric HIV … Read more.


Employment Opportunities


Upcoming Events

2nd Regional Symposium on Adolescents Sexual Reproductive Rights and HIV

Established in 1990, the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) promotes policies and research to support government response to end the HIV epidemic on the continent. Following the 1st Regional Symposium in Khartoum in 2007, SAA will organize its 2nd Symposium in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Zambia … Read more.

Global Health & Innovation Conference

Event Date: Saturday, 28 March 2015 to Sunday, 29 March 2015 The Global Health & Innovation Conference is the world's largest global health conference and social entrepreneurship conference.  This must-attend, thought-leading conference annually convenes 2,200 leaders, changemakers, students, and professionals from all fields of … Read more.

The International Conference on Masculinities: Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality

On March 6-8, 2015, the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities (CSMM) will host the International Conference on Masculinities: Engaging Men and Boys for Gender Equality, in New York City. The Conference is timed to immediately precede the meeting … Read more.


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In order to consistently capture the most important SRH issues from across the continent we encourage you our readers to participate by providing article suggestions for each issue. These article suggestions include:

• News updates

• Research updates

• Training courses

• Reports

• Career, educational and funding opportunities

• Announcements such as calls for papers/abstracts/concept proposals

• Upcoming events

• Useful website links